(ASU) - The Arkansas State football team is just three days away from playing in the GoDaddy Bowl for a fourth consecutive year and as part of the week's festivities the Red Wolves were treated to a luncheon and toured the USS Alabama battleship Thursday afternoon.
Players, coaches, administrators, staff members and fans enjoyed a lunch before going on a walking tour of the USS Alabama. One of the highlights of the Red Wolves' GoDaddy Bowl experience, the players spent over an hour taking pictures and videos while touring the battleship and the various aircraft in the park.
“It was a little overwhelming to be honest,” A-State head football coach Blake Anderson said of the visit. “The older I get the more I look at those planes and those ships and I think about the people that served on them and how many people have given their lives so we can do what do. We had a really emotional week when we had a “Heroes Week” during the season and this had a similar feeling today. Even the guys that have been here before still talk about how neat it is and how it fascinates them about the people that served on this ship who were able to do what they did just so we can go out and play a football game.”
The Alabama was commissioned in 1942 and served in World War II in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. The ship was decommissioned in 1947 and assigned to the reserve duty and then was retired from all duty in 1962. In 1964, Alabama was taken to Mobile Bay and opened as a museum ship the following year. The ship was added to the National Historic Landmark
registry in 1986.
“It is always great to go out to the USS Alabama and take part in everything they do for us,” A-State defensive lineman and Alabama native Chris Stone said. “They always put on a great luncheon with a great guest speaker and it is always meaningful to be blessed enough to get an opportunity to play football and experience great things like the postseason and a bowl week and everything that they do for you.”
Following the tour, Arkansas State departed for its first practice in Mobile, Ala., at the South Alabama football practice facility. The team went through conditioning drills and had a light walk-thru before departing back to the Renaissance Riverview Hotel for the remainder of the evening.
The GoDaddy Bowl activities continue Friday at 9 a.m. with a visit by the Red Wolves to the USA Children's and Women's Hospital. The annual “Mayor's Luncheon” will also be held at noon tomorrow at the Mobile Convention Center, along with the GoDaddy Bowl “Team Night” at 8 p.m. at the AMF Camellia Lanes.
The Red Wolves will play Mid-American Conference member Toledo in the GoDaddy Bowl, set for an 8 p.m. kickoff on Jan. 4. Bowl tickets are only $45 per ticket when purchased through the A-State Ticket Office. GoDaddy Bowl tickets are only $45 per ticket when purchased through the A-State Ticket Office. The A-State Ticket Office can be contacted by telephone at 870-972-2781, and tickets can be purchased online at